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Who benefits from uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage?

A recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) concludes that one out of every eight drivers in the U.S. does not carry auto insurance. When negligent uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) injure others or damage property, victims often have little recourse to collect damages.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports the average UM/UIM claim at nearly $30,000, which can be financially devastating without insurance. California has an even higher rate of uninsured drivers at 16.6%. An added bonus to UM/UIM coverage is that you don’t have to be in your car to be protected.

When does UM/UIM coverage apply?

Our last article explained the basics of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and that California does not require motorists to carry this insurance. However, the benefits are many. In most cases, UM/UIM coverage applies when:

  • A car accident is not your fault
  • The negligent driver has no insurance, or their coverage is inadequate
  • You are a passenger in another vehicle, including rideshares
  • You are a pedestrian and hit by a negligent driver
  • Injured by a driver’s negligence while riding a bicycle

This protection not only applies to you but everyone in your policy. The coverage follows you and your loved ones in nearly every circumstance where a negligent driver hurts you.

Types of compensation you can receive

It’s advisable to consult an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney in these cases. Your lawyer knows how insurance companies try to deny and reduce awards. They will handle all discussions to recover damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages due to your injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses

California does not allow uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) to cover hit-and-run accidents, but most drivers are protected under their collision coverage. Filing a claim can be confusing, but your attorney will aggressively pursue compensation, allowing you to focus on your recovery.